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An Investigation into the effect of surface area on the activity of catalase in potato.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

An Investigation into the effect of surface area on the activity of catalase in potato An experiment to find out how the application of different surface areas of the same sized potato chip, effects the reaction rate of catalase in the potato chip, whilst submerged in hydrogen peroxide at a controlled temperature and pH level. Introduction: Enzymes are large proteins and catalysts and increase the speed of a chemical reaction without undergoing any permanent chemical change. They are neither used up in the reaction nor do they appear as reaction products. 2 Enzymes, such as Catalase, are globular protein molecules which are found in living cells. 3 In their globular structure, one or more polypeptide chains twist and fold, bringing together a small number of amino acids to form the active site, or the location on the enzyme where the substrate binds and the reaction takes place. Enzyme and substrate fail to bind if their shapes do not match exactly. This ensures that the enzyme does not participate in the wrong reaction, as they are all very specific, as each enzyme just performs one particular reaction. 4 Catalase is an enzyme found in food such as potato and liver. It is used for removing Hydrogen Peroxide from the cells. Hydrogen Peroxide is the poisonous by-product of the affects of metabolism. Catalase speeds up the decomposition of Hydrogen Peroxide into the two products, water and oxygen, as shown in the equations below. Catalase HYDROGEN PEROXIDE WATER + OXYGEN Catalase 2H2O2 2H2O2 + O2 It is able to speed up the decomposition of Hydrogen Peroxide because the shape of its active site matches the shape of the Hydrogen Peroxide molecule. This type of reaction where a molecule is broken down into smaller pieces is called an anabolic reaction. When the catalase comes into contact with hydrogen peroxide, it turns the H2O2 into water (H2O) and oxygen gas (O2), as can be seen in the formula displayed above. ...read more.

Middle

plastic syringe To add hydrogen peroxide to measuring cylinder from beaker To more accurately add hydrogen peroxide to the measuring cylinder, from the beaker, when at 13 millilitres onwards up to 15 millilitres. So that the meniscus of the hydrogen peroxide is exactly level to the 15 millilitres mark on the measuring cylinder * Stand To act as scaffolding for glass syringe Is a rigid structure that will support the weight of the glass syringe without falling over * Boss Holds together the Stand to the clamp stand A rigid device to hold together the stand and clamp stand in a stable format * Clamp Connects from boss clamp to hold glass syringe in place Can hold glass syringe in a stable position with varying amounts of pressure, so glass will not be shattered through too much pressure being enforced upon it. Method: 1. Set up apparatus as illustrated in diagram. 2. Measure out 15ml of hydrogen peroxide from a beaker into a 25ml measuring cylinder. At first pour in hydrogen peroxide up to approximately 13ml, then refer to use 3ml plastic syringe to get the meniscus of the hydrogen peroxide exactly on the line of 15ml. 3. Pour precisely measured out hydrogen peroxide from measuring cylinder, into boiling tube. 4. Place the boiling tube into a thermostatic water bath, using a thermometer within the boiling tube to measure the temperature of the hydrogen peroxide, until it is 38?C. 5. Using an 8mm borer, bore out a potato chip from a potato on the tile. Then using a scalpel remove the fibrous skin of the potato chip on the surface of the tile, making sure that it's a straight, vertical incision. 6. Using a ruler, measure the potato chip out to 40mm and cut a vertical incision using the scalpel on the tile. 7. Fill a 250ml beaker with water at the temperature of 38?C using a thermometer. ...read more.

Conclusion

Thus, allowing the potato chip of S.A 2 to overtake in the rate of reaction of S.A 3. For future studies and reference, it would be useful to take this observation and theory further by graphing the relationship between surface area and the release of catalase from the potato chips for the two surface areas and potatoes. Analysing where the two lines meet, and how this affects the results of this experiment. This experiment could be improved in a number of ways. It could be repeated more times to help get rid of any anomalies. A better overall result would be obtained by repeating the experiment more times because any errors in one experiment should be compensated for by the other experiments. Using more surface areas of potato chips would have produced more data to draw from when examining it against my prediction, or any other acclaimed theories upon the reaction rate of catalase in potato and hydrogen peroxide. . The problem of the delay between dropping in the potato chip, bunging the test tube and starting the stopwatch could have been limited by getting another person to start the stopwatch when the potato chip was dropped into the boiling tube. By recording the reaction for longer than 5 minutes in order to gather more data to make a more informed judge of what is happening. Also, to take the measurements every 10 seconds, instead of every 30 seconds so that the results are more accurate. Overall, I believe the experiment was fairly reliable, as I obtained smooth and reliable results. Finding that as long as all the variables that were designed to be kept constant, i.e. the potato used throughout, actually were, then the main problems I accoutered would not have caused a problem within the collection of my results in the 'Investigation into the effect of surface area on the activity of catalase in potato'. ...read more.

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